AbstractThe design procedure considered in the Japanese code for low-rise timber houses (two or fewer stories), is through a wall volume method. The wall volume method entails calculating the shear capacity of each wall through addition of shear walls. However, past earthquake damages highlighted the vulnerability of light timber structures and warrant detailed evaluations to assess the design practice. In this study, load-deformation (P-θ) relations of the wall are combined to estimate the story shear drift. The general calculation of the amount of walls as a design method for a house is very simple. Buildings damaged in recent earthquakes have become of a concern to decision makers, owners, and designers. To validate the wall volume method, 21 full-scale shake table tests are compared with static wall test results. From the analytical and experimental studies, the short-term allowable shear strength in design with the full-scale experiment is about 2.25 times the standard method and about 2.0 times the quality verification method. Regarding the P-θ relationship, the rigidity and maximum load obtained from the experimental tests are 1.2 and 1.3 times larger than the addition, respectively. This paper has highlighted also influences of nonstructural members on the overall response of the structures.